The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has finally agreed to re-open Keroche Breweries Limited (KRA) in compliance with a court order after it was cited for contempt.
The authority said it would reopen the factory’s plant in Naivasha on Friday after closure of about two months.
This follows a court order by Justice Abigail Mshila, who declined to give an audience to KRA’s Counsel to address the court unless initial orders to re-open the plant are complied with.
“Therefore, based on the directions of the Honourable Abigail Mshila, the Keroche factory will be opened tomorrow (Friday) at 11am,” KRA said in a statement.
The Court has set the hearing for the contempt of court case for August 2.
Keroche and KRA have been engaged in a tax impasse for more than two months which has seen both parties move in and out of court after the taxman shut the brewer’s factory.
The closure saw Keroche lay off over 400 workers who can now sigh relief after the reopening order.
KRA said it shut the plant after the brewer failed to honour a repayment plan that would have seen it settle Sh957 million shillings in 24 months.
Owned by the Karanja family, Keroche previously linked its woes to a Sh351 million demand, but the KRA said the brewer owes the State more than Sh22 billion in unpaid taxes.
The High Court on July 15 ordered KRA to open the Keroche Breweries plant in Naivasha pending the hearing and determination of a suit pitting the two parties.
KRA then moved to Court on July 23, seeking to stop the order. Justice Mshila declined to certify the case as urgent as sought by KRA and instead directed the case to be heard by Justice Mabeya on September 22.
On July 25, Keroche’s CEO then moved to Court seeking the arrest of KRA Commissioner General Githii Mburu for failure to reopen the brewery.